good excuses to get out of work

Good Excuses to Get Out of Work: The Most Legitimate Reasons

Everyone needs a “me” day. The whole 9 to 5, Monday through Friday routine can take its toll on your mind. So it’s perfectly natural to want to ditch work and relax for some time.

But without some legitimate reasons to back up your request for a holiday, skipping work can be risky. You don’t want to cause any suspicions. So if you’re not very sure about how you can get out of work, here are some good excuses to get out of work.

Good Excuses to Get Out of Work

  • Personal Problems

Personal Problems

This is one of the easiest excuses to make when you’re trying to get out of work, and there are many ways to go about it. Here are just some ideas to get your brain started; feel free to get more creative and be prepared with a narrative in case your employer asks for the whole story the next day:

#1. You have a scheduled appointment with an orthopedist/ therapist/ dentist/ shaman/ Bishop — you get the idea. Just make up a personal appointment that you need to keep for your health/mental wellbeing.
#2. Your child has been misbehaving in school, and they just called you in to meet the teacher.
#3. Your cat or dog isn’t feeling well and you’re worried, so you want to have it checked out by a veterinarian.
#4. You have an appointment with your lawyer/ bank manager/ accountant/ secretary/ financial consultant that you need to keep.
#5. There’s been an incident of some kind, like an accident, damage to someone’s property, crime etc. Your neighbors or your community needs you to help out.
#6. There is an important upcoming wedding or event of some kind for which you want to look good so you need a day to visit the salon, parlor or shopping center. However, make sure you express the importance of the event because these are the kinds of things regular holidays are for.
#7. You’re going to donate blood/ plasma/ sperm/ a kidney.
#8. You’re helping organize an event for charity.
#9. You’ve been summoned to court to testify in an ongoing investigation/ case that you have been vaguely connected to.

  • Awaiting An Important Delivery

Important Delivery

This is another one of the good excuses to get out of work, particularly if you’re living alone. Say that you’re expecting an important delivery. It could be a package from distant friends/relatives or an important courier document for which you need to be present in-person to sign. It can also be new furniture or expensive electronics like a laptop or TV.

Just remember, whatever it is you’re claiming you’re expecting has to be something that you need to be there in person for to receive. If it’s the sort of thing the delivery executive can leave on your curb, in the mailbox, or with the receptionist, you won’t be excused for it.

  • Home Improvement Problems

Home Improvement Problems

Home improvement problems are time-consuming to fix, so they make for a great excuse to skip work. Especially if you’re in a low-paying job or bad economy because that means you cannot afford help. You don’t have a choice but to deal with this yourself.

But make it an urgent home improvement problem. Something that needs your immediate attention and cannot be put off till the weekend. Here are some examples:

#1. Pests
#2. Collapsing roof
#3. A grease fire in the kitchen
#4. Burst or broken pipes and leakage
#5. Overflowing toilet
#6. Broken door lock or windows
#7. Power outage
#8. Leaky ceiling

  • Family Emergency

Family Emergency

As long as your boss doesn’t know your family, family emergency excuses are quite effective. You will always be excused for a family emergency, and most of the time, your employer won’t ask what it’s about because family issues are private. But just in case you are asked or simply want to share some specifics to make it more legitimate, here are some ideas:

#1. My spouse/child is unwell or has been in an accident.
#2. My parents are unwell or have been in an accident.
#3. My son/daughter was caught vandalizing/stealing/in a fight/smoking, and I need to attend to it.
#4. I need to pick up my mother/father/spouse/grandparents from the hospital/airport/train station.
#5. There was an accident/break-in/natural disaster at my parents’/uncles’/aunts’/grandparents’ house, and they need me there right now to help out.
#6. My spouse/parent is having major surgery, and I need to be there for support.

  • Feeling Sick

Feeling Sick

Calling in sick is the oldest trick in the book but also foolproof. However, you should be careful about what sickness you make up because your employer may ask you to provide a prescription or medical note for their records. Most companies have a policy for sick days, so you should look into the major illnesses before coming up with a sickness excuse.

The best thing to do is go with a sickness that generally only takes 1-2 days to recover from. Here are some ideas:

#1. Migraine
#2. Food poisoning
#3. Constipation and bowel pains
#4. Sprain
#5. Heavy coughing and cold
#6. Fever
#7. Chest pains
#8. Back pains

  • Car Trouble

Car Trouble

How are you supposed to get to work if you can’t even start your car? It’s a good excuse if you live out in the suburbs or areas with limited or no public transport. However, it’s an excuse you should make carefully.

For instance, you don’t want to start off the excuse by saying you can’t come in for work. Instead say that your car won’t start, and you need help getting to work. But if your employer knows someone who can pick you up en-route or offers to pay for a cab, you’ll have to go to work.

  • Schools Are Closed (If You Have Children)

Schools Are Closed

This excuse only works if you have children, and your work cannot be done remotely. If the school is shut for any reason, you can get a temporary leave of absence until the school opens up again. But you may have to make up for the loss of productivity.

It’s not an excuse you can use very often though, so it’s probably best to reserve this for when it actually happens. Plus your employer should not be familiar with the school your kids attend, so that’s something you need to check out first.

  • Death In the Family

Death In the Family

Work always comes second to family, but be careful taking advantage of this. If you’re ever caught making up a family death, it won’t be excusable, and you’ll likely get fired for it. In order for this excuse to work, your employer should not know your family personally.

Also, if you’re making up death in your family just to get out of a day of work, do not make it about anyone close to you. Go for distant relatives, great aunts and uncles, or family friends instead. That way it’s understandable why you may need a day off, and it won’t be suspicious the next day when you’re behaving and working normally.

How To Explain Why You Need to Call Out of Work

How To Explain

Approach the conversation with subtlety and politeness. Instead of your tone, use your words to emphasize your situation better. Your employers are also working people, so they understand when a break should be handed out and when not.

Keep it short, to the point, and avoid dramatics at all costs. It may make people think you’re trying to manipulate them.

The best way to go about this is to drop an email, but if you’re having a phone conversation with your employer about a leave, then prepare yourself for all the follow-up questions pertaining to your excuse. You can suggest ways in which you can make up for the leave once you’re back; it will go a long way.

Tips For Asking to Be Absent from Work


Here are some tips to be mindful of when you’re asking for a day off to improve your chances of being excused.

#1. Avoid informing of your absence at the last minute unless you’re going with one of the emergency excuses, and it’s a previously unforeseen situation. If you inform your employer of an upcoming need for a day off a week beforehand, it suggests sincerity and respect for the company’s protocols. That will improve your chances.
#2. Identify the most easy-going or sensitive person at your company who you can contact to ask permission for leave.
#3. You can legitimize your excuse better with a little bit of theatrics. For instance, if you’re planning to call in sick about food poisoning the next day, start pretending you’re experiencing stomach discomfort the previous day; maybe even ask for an antacid.
#4. You may receive some correspondence while you’re gone, so make sure you set up a way for messages from clients or supervisors to reach you on your home email.
#5. Prepare for your absence by taking up some extra work on a day, and update your colleagues and supervisors about the latest status of your project. That way if anything needs to be reassigned or worked on, they can get to it sooner and the work doesn’t suffer in your absence.

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